Life admin …… Ok I can hear you snoring already!
It’s something we all have consistently, has to be done, and yet it’s probably the thing that we universally procrastinate on the most!
So what exactly is life admin?
Life admin is exactly what it says on the tin ….. the admin of life! This could be going on comparison sites to find your best Car Insurance deal (yep, snore). Making that dreaded phone call to the doctors to book an appointment for a routine check up (make sure you allocate a good hour or so of being on hold for that one!). Decluttering your digital photos.
So. Many. Tasks!
Why is it the number 1 thing we are most likely to procrastinate on?
FACT: It can be really boring!
Certain tasks can seem so trivial, and time-consuming, and the thought of spending an hour searching the internet for the best/cheapest home insurance for instance feels like a massive waste of time. Yet it has to be done!
FACT: It can feel overwhelming.
When looking at an overview of your To Do list I’ll bet a good 60% is probably life admin. And I’m sure some of those pesky tasks have been hanging around in there for some time! When a task doesn’t have a sense of urgency or a ‘Due Date’, it tends to set up camp on that list and just stare at you with a mocking smirk for a very long time. It’s much like a pile of ironing – every day you see it getting bigger and bigger, and the thought of doing it gets increasingly overwhelming!
FACT: There’s always something that feels more important to do.
Was I the only one who went into the Covid lockdown thinking ‘Woohoo! FINALLY I will have time to complete my To Do list!” I honestly believed having some extra time on my hands would be enough of an incentive to ‘get things done’……… Oh how I chuckle at my idealistic positivity! Because the one thing I didn’t have during lockdown was any time pressures or deadlines (just my personal experience – I know for some it was the busiest time ever!) So I didn’t schedule anything and left my life admin list to chance.
“I’ll sort that out next week sometime”
Next week rolls around. There’s a new show on Netflix. You get the picture.
If we don’t find some way of prioritising these seemingly trivial tasks, they just build up to the point of costing you stress and sometimes money. If only you had dedicated those 30 minutes to researching a cheaper internet service provider ….. that procrastination could have cost you hundreds of pounds!
So what is the solution? How do I fit this in to my already bursting schedule?
Here are our 5 tips for bossing your life admin:
Get all of your current life admin tasks into a single list, whether you prefer to do that on paper or with your chosen To Do list app. It’s important to work out which of these tasks will help you to ‘move the needle’, and to ask yourself this question:
Do any of these tasks have a deadline or a ‘must do by’ date? And are any of them blocking your progression for something else? All of these tasks should be marked with a higher priority and moved to the top of the list, ready for the next step.
Similar to the concept of batch cooking your meals for the week, or batch creating your social media content. Batching together your life admin tasks is a great way to attack that list and really make you feel accomplished and satisfied!
Intentional living Youtuber Muchelle B is an inspiring advocate of the batching technique, and often posts videos where we as the audience get to follow her through her ‘life admin day’. I can thoroughly recommend her videos if you’re looking for some extra inspiration to get things moving.
Now I realise the idea of dedicating an entire day (likely one of your days off) to life admin may feel like an impossibility and not overly appealing. But it doesn’t have to be an entire day. Even if you can dedicate one power hour a week to attack the top 3 things on the list, things will start to shift.
The main concept is to dedicate a concentrated amount of time to these tasks rather than drip feeding it into the end of your work day, or in your lunch break. To keep going like this will make you feel even more resentful of your life admin, by never truly having a brain break.
3. Stop…..break it down
In the wise words of MC Hammer, whenever you feel like you don’t know where to start – STOP…Break it down!
When you look at a task and just feel confused or overwhelmed about what to do or where to start, ask yourself if you could break it down to bitesize chucks.
Example: Declutter phone contacts
HUGELY overwhelming! If like me, you have hundreds of contacts in your phone (some of them dating back to the very first phones we had …. ahhhh Nokia!) it’s likely this will be something you will put off for a very long time.
But just imagine the satisfaction when you no longer have a collection of names you don’t even recognise anymore?
I would break this down alphabetically. Set separate tasks for each letter and slowly work your way through them, bit by bit. It’s really the best way to approach a major job which you really don’t have the time or desire to do all in one go.
Is there anything you can create an automation for? Bills that need to be paid with the same amount every month, that could be on a direct debit rather than manually having to do it? Getting a smart meter? Or using software such as Zapier or automate.io to set up automatic scenarios when you action a regular task?
Automating can take time to set up but once you’ve done it, I promise you’ll wonder how you ever coped before! It can be a complex process, so to save yourself even more time get in touch with us to see if we can help you with your set up.
The reality is, as much as you’d like to set aside a day per month to batch all your life admin tasks, it might not even be enough. So what can you delegate?
Here at My Freelance Admin we love helping people out with life admin!
Here are just some of the services we provide to help you to find out what to delegate to us:
- Online Filing Systems – Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive – whatever you use, we can make it beautifully clear and easy to navigate in just a few hours.
- API Integration and Automation – Keep your data in sync so you can enhance productivity with an API integration which we will set up and manage for you.
- Research – Our Virtual Researchers can do a deep dive and present our findings in a clear and concise way, saving you hours of time.
- Email Management – Even our personal email accounts need a spring clean from time to time, and we love a good declutter!
- Logistics Management – We can help you be in the right place at the right time, whether that’s for day to day appointments, personal events, or overseas travel.
- Diary Management – Booking appointments, allocating travel time, setting reminders for important events and reminders, and most importantly, time off!
- Personal Assistant Tasks – Anything else you feel comfortable delegating, just book a call with us to find out if it’s something we can help you with.
Live your life, give us your life admin!
Written by Debbie Watt